God Reports

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Posted 8/19/14 at 3:15 PM | Mark Ellis

He Survived Killing Fields, led Pol Pot’s Murderous General to Christ

Christopher LaPel

By Mark Ellis

He grew up in the palace of the king, but after the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia he lost his privileged lifestyle and nearly his life. After he found Christ in a refugee camp, he became a soul-winner himself – bringing hope to one of the most notorious monsters of the killing fields.

“I was raised in a Buddhist family,” says Christopher LaPel, founder of Hope for Cambodia. His father worked in the palace of King Sihanouk and as a boy, he often spent time there.

One day as he explored the palace he approached an engraver working in the basement. “Could you make a cross for me?” he asked the man.

Christopher had seen the iconic symbol atop churches in Phnom Penh and in movies, but didn’t know what it meant. He felt drawn to it, however, and was pleased when the man agreed to make one for him out of ivory, which Christopher began to wear around his neck.

One evening at the dinner table with his parents, he leaned forward and the ivory cross slipped into view from the inside of his shirt. FULL POST

Posted 8/12/14 at 7:41 PM | Mark Ellis |

9 comments

Robin Williams Grew Closer to God During Rehab

Robin Williams

By Mark Ellis

As many were left reeling by the unexpected suicide of comedic genius Robin Williams, a few clues have emerged about a quiet, underlying faith that came to the surface during times of trial – most apparently after one of his stints in rehab.

Raised by an Episcopalian father and Christian Scientist mother, he publicly identified with the Episcopal Church, and offered the quip that being Episcopalian was essentially “Catholic lite: the same religion, half the guilt.”

In 2007, he spoke to journalist Kavita Daswani after emerging from a month in rehab for alcohol addiction. Their revealing interview was published by the South China Morning Post.

Williams had been sober for 20 years, but then found himself drinking again, and decided to take proactive measures to deal with it for his own well-being and the well-being of his family.

Daswani described his mood in the interview as “more somber” than usual, with his mind and heart refocused on rehab, God, religion and alcoholism. FULL POST

Posted 8/11/14 at 2:18 PM | Mark Ellis |

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Second 'Flood of Noah' Threatened After Seizure of Dam by Terror Group

Mosul Dam

By Mark Ellis

Before terrorists seized the largest dam in Iraq it was considered the most dangerous dam in the world due to its internal failure potential. Now with ISIS controlling the dam and making wild threats, the lives of hundreds of thousands living downstream seem even more precarious.

On August 7th, ISIS announced on their website they had seized the 750-MW Mosul Dam from Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

Then they released the second issue of their online magazine known as Dabique, which included this threat on the cover: “It’s either the Islamic State or the flood.” The issue goes on to discuss punishing sinners by drowning them through a massive flood – perhaps second only in scope to the biblical flood of Noah’s day.

According to a 2009 study by two professors at Mosul University, a catastrophic failure of the dam would cover half of Mosul in 80 feet of water, cover Baghdad in 15 feet of water, and destroy up to 100 square miles of farmland. FULL POST

Posted 8/8/14 at 4:28 PM | Mark Ellis

ISIS: 'We Will Raise flag of Allah in the White House'

Vice News
ISIS leader preaches in mosque

By Mark Ellis

As ISIS continues their takeover of northern Iraq and portions of Syria and the U.S. launches a tempered military response for strategic and humanitarian purposes, a spokesman for the radical group made a bold declaration – about an ultimate conquest of the White House.

In the last week, Vice News embedded a journalist with ISIS and traveled with their press officer, Abu Mosa, during their assault on the Syrian Army’s 17th division near Raqqa. A powerful and graphic video released from this excursion shows ISIS surrounding Syrian forces on four sides, defeating them, then mounting the heads of their fallen foes on the top of metal fence spikes.

Abu Mosa made a provocative statement following that victory: “I say to America that the Islamic Caliphate has been established. And we will not stop. Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq. We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.” FULL POST

Posted 8/4/14 at 5:20 PM | Mark Ellis |

1 comment

When a Young Woman's Church Was Bombed in the Middle East, She Saw Jesus

book cover graphic

By Mark Ellis

After a young Muslim woman named Samaa Habib came to Christ, she endured intense persecution from her family and the surrounding community, but even greater torment lay ahead when her thriving fellowship of Muslim converts to Christianity was bombed.

The four young men with “grim” expressions who visited one Sunday morning looked like many of the young men who fought in her country’s recent civil war. No matter their background, the young men were welcomed with love by the congregation.

“Come in, we are so happy to have you here among us. Jesus loves you,” said one of the greeters of the church, as recounted in Samaa Habib’s riveting book Face to Face with Jesus (Baker Publishing).

But these young men were on a malevolent mission, as they carefully studied how and when the followers of Jesus entered and departed the building, so the four bombs they were constructing could do the most damage. FULL POST

Posted 8/1/14 at 1:30 PM | Mark Ellis

Historic first: Two American missionaries with Ebola returning to U.S.

Dr. Kent Brantly with his wife and children

By Mark Ellis

Two American missionaries infected with the Ebola virus while serving in West Africa are returning to the Atlanta area, the first time patients with active Ebola infection have entered the Western Hemisphere, according to a CNN report.

A private jet equipped with a quarantine pod left Cartersville, Ga., Thursday afternoon headed for Liberia to evacuate Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, officials said.

The decision to bring them to the U.S. was made by Samaritan’s Purse, according to Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

“It was their decision and we are here to support their decision,” Dr. Frieden told CNN. “It’s a huge risk in Africa, but it’s not going to be a huge risk here,” he said.

Emory University Hospital in Atlanta revealed Thursday that it expects to receive one or both of the patients within the next several days. The CDC, which is headquartered near Emory, will work closely with them to make sure adequate precautions are in place during the transportation phase and during the patients’ care at the medical facility. FULL POST

Posted 7/31/14 at 5:15 PM | Mark Ellis |

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In the Midst of Civil War, a Young Muslim Woman Found the Prince of Peace

book cover

By Mark Ellis

At the time of Samaa Habib’s birth to a staunch Muslim family, her country was controlled by communists. Before her delivery, a communist midwife at the government-run hospital urged her mother to have an abortion.

“We should get rid of it,” the midwife informed her mother. “It’s a tumor I think, not a baby.”

Samaa’s mother and the midwife launched into a furious argument, and thankfully, Samaa’s mother prevailed and a baby girl was delivered by C-section.

“I believe I was saved by God for a purpose,” writes Samaa in her electrifying book “Face to Face with Jesus” (Baker Publishing). “My survival was due to the skill of a Jewish doctor in a communist hospital staffed by Muslims.”

Growing up, she soon learned that if a Muslim leaves Islam and converts to any other religion, the penalty is death according to the Qur’an. “I understood from an early age that, because I was born a Muslim, I would die a Muslim,” she notes. FULL POST

Posted 7/25/14 at 2:49 PM | Mark Ellis |

5 comments

ISIS Orders Female Circumcision in Mosul

Childfriendlyfaith.org
Female circumcision

By Mark Ellis

The radical group ISIS is seeking to impose female genital mutilation (FGM) in Mosul, a top UN official in Iraq told the BBC.

The edict stated that all females aged 11 and 46 in Mosul must undergo the procedure, UN official Jacqueline Badcock reported.

Badcock said the extraordinary pronouncement was of grave concern.

Iraq is facing a radical insurgency led by ISIS, with Mosul and other cities in the northwest part of Iraq under their control since June.

Some African, Middle Eastern and Asian communities practice female circumcision in the belief it prepares women for adulthood and marriage.

FGM poses many health risks to women, including severe bleeding, problems urinating, infections, infertility and increased risk of newborn deaths in childbirth, according to the World Health Organization.

The UN General Assembly passed a resolution in 2012 calling for all member states to prohibit the practice. FULL POST

Posted 7/22/14 at 7:06 PM | Mark Ellis

He survived a brutal father and the most violent cellblock at San Quentin

Ed with baby Jessica, 1982

By Mark Ellis

Beatings by his father put him in the hospital at a young age. “State-raised,” he was incarcerated intermittently from the seventh grade onward, until he reached the most dreaded cellblock at San Quentin.

“My father was a very bitter, angry man, especially when he was drinking,” says Ed Welch, who is currently struggling with a diagnosis of terminal cancer at age 65. Ed's truck-driver father was a loyal member of the Teamsters, and even became chairman of Jimmy Hoffa’s fundraising committee when Hoffa faced imprisonment.

Welch got into his first fight with dad at age 10, in an attempt to defend his mother. “He nearly knocked me out, and from that point on we had a different relationship. I hated him because of what he did to mom.”

In fourth grade, Welch was kicked out of school for fighting. A year later he was arrested. By seventh grade he was in juvenile hall, which began a journey in and out of the prison system for many years. FULL POST

Posted 7/18/14 at 7:40 PM | Mark Ellis |

1 comment

Tomb of Old Testament Prophet Jonah smashed by ISIS

Hooded figure smashes tomb

By Mark Ellis

He was swallowed by a gigantic sea creature after he tried to run from God. Chastened in the belly of the behemoth, he later preached to the people of Ninevah and turned an entire city to God.

Tradition places Jonah’s grave close to the city of Mosul, near the ancient site of Nineveh. The Christians there still trace their lineage back to Jonah’s preaching, while Jews and Muslims also celebrate the man as a prophet.

Amidst the remains of Ninevah stands the Mosque of the Prophet Yunus (or Jonah), which was once the location of a Nestorian-Assyrian Church. Jonah is believed to be buried there, the same place King Esarhaddon built a palace.

It is one of the most important mosques in Mosul and one of the few historic mosques that are found on the eastern side of the city.

In early July, members of the radical group ISIS smashed the tomb of the celebrated prophet, as documented in a YouTube video. Some reports also say they unearthed his remains. FULL POST

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